Skip to content

Tenant Experience

5th January 2021

Here's to the future (of the office)

Charlotte Toon

CO FOUNDER DIRECTOR OF DESIGN & TENANT EXPERIENCE

One of the most powerful aspects of design, in all forms and sectors, is that, by principle, it is about looking to the future. Design is everywhere. From the phone in your hand, to the clothing you're wearing, you are consuming the creations of those who are finding solutions for tomorrow.

All great designs have to start somewhere and typically they start with a story. A story often based on a problem and a resolution. Our story starts with the need to evolve CAT A+ into a product that is better suited to the future.

In terms of a brief, a landlord will ask us to create a pre-built environment on their behalf, encompassing the needs and wants of their future tenant. It’s quite a hard task when, nine out of ten times, we don’t know who the tenant will be at that stage of the process. Luckily, through our affiliation with Thirdway, we have a great understanding of what tenants want. In today’s world, that is flexibility in design, and readily available (pre-fitted) space that allows them to keep their money in their bank accounts.

As office designers and creatives, it is our job then to explore the possibilities of the future of work and design a space that doesn’t just tick boxes for yesterday’s client but designs for tomorrow’s too.

Typically, our own design approach starts with a deep dive into the area that the building is in - its amenities, neighbours, transport connections, and company demographics -  and working alongside the building’s leasing teams to understand the specifics of the industries, companies and individuals that will thrive here. We believe that our process has to be human-centric. UX Designer Frank Chimero hit the nail on the head when he said, “People ignore design that ignores people”.

Despite the challenges of 2020 and the tough start to 2021, I am genuinely excited about what this year will bring. Our industry, like many others, has taken a hit but in the chaos I’ve seen opportunities to stop, reflect, and work out where we want to be.

We find ourselves at the dawn of change, with an opportunity to influence our future by the very conversations and decisions we make today. Design is about understanding and respecting the past but looking to the future. We have an opportunity to take risks, try new ways of working, and truly understand 'work-life balance' and how the shape of work has changed.

TX encompasses all that is powerful about looking to the future and is not just reflected in our designs but in the experience. As Steve Jobs said, ‘Design is not just what it looks like and feels like; design is how it works.”

From our showroom experience technology, down to the finite detail of the way our spaces are put together, and the ‘real-time’ ability for tenants to tailor the space to their needs, our whole process is designed for tomorrow’s tenant, all the while reducing risk for landlords too. This has not existed in the letting process until now. Additionally, we’re always trying out new furniture solutions and technology packages, exploring what is out there and - if it doesn’t exist yet - designing it ourselves.

So my question is this: Why wait for the future when you can shape it today?